POLI 370 - Lectures 2 and 3, Week 2
POLI 370 - Lectures 2 and 3, Week 2 POLI 370 001
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POLI 370 001
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by runnergal on Sunday January 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POLI 370 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Dr. Xuhong Su in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Public Administration in Political Science at University of South Carolina.
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Date Created: 01/24/16
POLI 370 – Lecture 2 Layers and Units of Government Federal (1) State (50) County (3,043) School district (13,726) Special districts (34,683) Total governmental units: 87,507 Better school districts create higher property values, creating socioeconomic segregation. Federal, state, and local governments all have different responsibilities. Federal government takes care of sectors like defense, the postal service, and social security. State government takes care of sectors like higher education, liquor stores, and highways. It also uses federal grants in order to implement federal programs. Local government takes care of sectors like elementary education, the police department, and the fire department. State and local government has increased faster than federal government. Federalism 1. Federal government is responsible for those sectors because of national standards, where everyone needs to be treated the same way; scale of economy, since the country can have only one scale; and visibility of special interests and values, where the government needs to ensure that every sector receives the same benefits. 2. States are essentially democracy labs. For example, some states like Colorado are currently running a weed reform experiment. 3. Local government provides services close to the citizens. This closeness allows the best services to correspond with local preferences. Local government provides direct delivery of services to their constituents. Local government receives funds primarily through property tax. Federal Spending: mandatory (65% for formulabased programs like social security, Medicare and Medicaid, food stamps, etc.) discretionary (29%, used for all other government programs), and interest on debt (6%). Entitlement: government programs created under legislation that defines eligibility standards, but places no limit on total budget authority. The level of outlays is determined solely by the number of eligible people who apply for authorized benefits under the existing law. The federal government is committed to entitlement programs because of mobility concerns (people will move to places with better benefits if state or local government is in charge of those programs) and resource constraints (some states have less money than others). Spending on entitlement programs keeps increasing. Additionally, state and local governments cannot control entitlement programs because of the “race to the bottom”: the idea where competing governments will offer worse and worse benefits in order to repel beneficiaries. Discretionary Spending: 54% of discretionary spending is spent on the military. Discretionary spending is determined by appropriations bills. These bills are the only part of the governmental financial process that the president can directly affect in any way. Most government aides work in discretionary programs, as opposed to mandatory programs. State vs. Local Government: Dillion’s Rule: local governments only have the powers that are expressly granted to them by the state in these ways: 1. Granted in express words in the Constitution 2. Necessarily implied or necessarily incident to expressly granted powers 3. Absolutely essential to declared objectives and purposes of the corporation. Not simply convenient, but indispensable. Home Rule: there is a broad grant of power from the state giving municipalities the authority to handle local matters with the need for special legislation by the state specifically giving this authority so long as there are no conflicts with state laws. POLI 370 – Lecture 3 Government Tools: 1 . Direct Provision: where the government gives you something (a service) without resorting to or using other parties. There have been fewer direct provisions since the 1950s. They emulate representative democracy. 2 . Indirect Provisions: avenues that change people’s incentives. a . Grants: where the federal government gives state and local governments financial incentives to perform a certain task. For example, the Highway Fund Grant requires states to set a 55 mph speed limit in urban areas. b . Regulation: networks of people. For example, caseworkers delegate some tasks to other people or sectors, like Habitat for Humanity or Medicaid. c . Tax expenditures: where the government gives people money to perform a certain task. For example, if you teach kids in South Carolina for eight years, South Carolina will pay off your student loans or pay for your graduate schooling. d . Contract: where a private company delivers a public service. For example, many states contract out the building and operation of their prisons. Why Direct Provisions: Consequences of public goods is that the market will not willingly supply those goods. Public goods are too important to be mishandled. Government decides how much of the service to provide. For example, should South Carolina provide a police officer for every 100 people or for every 1,000 people? Marginal willingness to pay: the amount that individuals are willing to pay for the next unit of the good. This amount decreases as individuals receive more of the good. Lindale pricing for public goods: 1. Government announces a set of tax prices for the public good. 2. Each individual says how much of the public good he or she wants at those tax prices. 3. The government repeats these steps to construct a marginal willingness to pay schedule for each individual. 4. The government adds up individual willingnesses to pay at each quantity of public good provided. 5. The government relates this overall demand curve to the marginal cost curve. 6. The government then finances this public good by charging individuals their willingnesses to pay for that quantity. Essentially, people decide to buy x units of a good at the government’s set price. The government calculates the cost, then finds the equilibrium point between supply and demand. However, this model does not work with public goods. Free Riding Issue: you cannot define how much of a public good is require to meet the public need. People do not know how much they need, and they do not want to pay for those goods. Therefore, we resort to these political mechanisms to provide public goods: Direct democracy: different types of votes. Referendum: a measure on the ballot by the government, allowing citizens to vote on state laws or constitutional amendments that have already been passed by the state legislature. Legislative referendum: where the legislature refers a measure to the voters for their approval. Popular referendum: a measure that appears on a ballot as a result of a voter petition curve. Voter initiative: placement of legislation on the ballot by citizens. This initiative is a process that enables citizens to bypass their state legislatures by placing proposed statues or constitutional amendments on the ballots. Majority voting: a mechanism used to aggregate individual votes into a social decision, where individual policy options are put to a vote and the option that receives the majority of votes is chosen. This mechanism could either produce positive results or a tyranny of the majority. For example, Russian tenants voted to kill their landlords in order to get the landlords’ lands. Votemaximizing politicians represent the median voter. Essentially, this means that politicians only care about the number of votes that they receive. Politicians will change their views in order to receive more votes. Lobbying: The expending of resources by certain individuals or groups in attempt to influence politicians. Interest Groups Ordinary People Cost Divided between all People are apathetic, busy, and would members of the group. rather freeride. Benefit Huge benefits. The benefit is divided by all of the members; therefore, the benefit is small. Advantages of this political process: authoritative decisions concerning social values. They decide when, how much, and the magnitude of these values. Disadvantages of this political process: who truly makes these decisions – politicians, interest groups, or the people? Who delivers public goods? Since bureaucrats are often focused on getting reelected, there is goal displacement between government officials and the people. These decisions are subject to fluctuations of political sentiments, economic cycles, ideological fights, etc. For example, is there truly a shortage of STEM employees in the U.S.? Crowding out effect: negative impact on some groups in society. Indirect Provision: Resort to private and nonprofit providers as well as state and local governments. Develop partnerships, collaborations, and networks. Discouraged workers: people that stop looking for work and are therefore not included in the unemployed count. This serves as an example of why workforce training programs are needed, where the programs receive money from the government if graduates from the program get jobs.
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